Deadline Approaching For Occupy Nashville Demonstrators - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Deadline Approaching For Occupy Nashville Demonstrators

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by Chris Cannon

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A new policy could have Occupy Nashville demonstrators off Legislative Plaza after midnight Friday. After a lengthy meeting Thursday night, members of the group decided they will not willingly leave the plaza.

That state policy could force Occupy Nashville members to leave the place they have protested for 20 days. Thursday afternoon the Department of General Services put a curfew into effect for the Capitol grounds.

The group, by consensus, decided they will continue to protest on the plaza as they have since October 7th. They understand police may try to remove them from the area.

"There's a contingent of people here prepared to risk arrest if for some reason the state deems it important to arrest people doing that act. And the other contingent who aren't able to risk arrest, will act in support of those who have been arrested," explained Occupy Nashville member Katy Savage.

The Legislative Plaza, War Memorial Courtyard and Capital Grounds use Policy says, "Effective immediately… all assemblies and gatherings of persons on the State of Tennessee Legislative Plaza, War Memorial Courtyard and Capital ground area in Nashville, Tennessee shall require a use permit from the Tennessee Department of General Services."

All demonstrations must be approved after an application and satisfaction of use fees.

If granted a permit, demonstrations are only allowed during the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Just after 4:00 p.m. Thursday, state workers posted signs around instructing the rules of the new curfew saying, no one is allowed on Legislative Plaza from 10:00 p.m. to  6:00 a.m., which goes into effect on Friday October 28, 2011.

The new state policy also requires groups to now have a permit before they can gather on the Capitol grounds. That permit cost $65 and makes security and insurance liabilities the applying group's responsibility.

By consensus, the members of Occupy Nashville decided they would not apply for a state permit to congregate on Legislative Plaza.

Email: ccannon@newschannel5.com
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